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Q35: Decolonizing Ecologies

This issue of CSPA Quarterly destabilizes Colonial Settler perspectives in ecological art practices. By bringing together artists and writers who re-center BIPOC, and particularly Indigenous, voices in decolonial eco-art, this issue proposes a different way to view ecology. These artists each offer an incisive critique of a Western model of land-engagement, and its roots in ownership and exploitation.

Radical Ecology: Media Art and the Environment

As London’s foremost forum for pioneering media arts, we present Radical Ecology, an online event in collaboration with National Gallery x

Tue, November 23, 2021
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM EST

Register for free HERE

About this event

Speakers:

Aphra Shemza | Ben Eaton (Invisible Flock) | Sarah Craske | Frances Disley

“Right now we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change. If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilization and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”

Sir David Attenborough, A Life on Our Planet, 2020.

In the aftermath of the COP26 climate summit and the global demonstrations that call for immediate action to prevent catastrophic global warming, Radical Ecology looks to art as a forum where future possibilities can be imagined and provides a discursive setting to explore these subjects in a media art context. 

If we think of art as a tool with which artists are able to raise questions about our human existence, the lives we lead and the society we inhabit, then media artists are right at the forefront of this discourse. They work with technology and innovation, looking towards the future and are forced into a dialogue with our throw-away consumer culture as part of their process. 

Using the National Gallery’s collection as a starting point, we will investigate the environment and landscape as a source of artistic inspiration and contemplation. Radical Ecology invites Ben Eaton, Sarah Craske and Frances Disley to explore climate change, ecology, sustainable practice and conservation within relation to their work. 

Register for free HERE

(Image: Aphra Shemza, Current Climate, 2019.)

Ecoscenography Reading Group for November

The Ecoscenography Reading Group welcomes all who are interested in a broader discussion on ecological design, primarily in live performance

Welcome back to our third and final Ecoscenography Reading Group of 2021!

Our upcoming session will be held virtually on November 22nd at 7:30pm Toronto time (GMT-4) / November 23rd at 10:30 am Brisbane time (AEST) through our Zoom Webinar platform hosted by The Queensland University of Technology. Upon registering with our Eventbrite link, you will receive access to the selected plays that will be explored in this session. We encourage you to have a read of these plays beforehand to engage in our Q&A with our panel and attendees. Our November Reading Group will be working with three texts selected from the Climate Change Theatre Action’s (CCTA) 2021 call-out that addresses the central themes of Growth and Reflection. We will be joined by guest live performance designer panellists, Ian Garrett (Toronto, CAD), Bronwyn Pringle (Melbourne, Australia) and Tony Brumpton (Brisbane, AUS). Our discussion will explore ecoscenographic responses to the plays, particularly how spatial, lighting and sound designers can create sustainable, unique and provocative experiences that forefront ecological issues.

To learn more, please visit: Ecoscenography Reading Group

Our selected CCTA plays for the November Ecoscenography Reading Group are:

Whistler by Giancarlo Abraham (Philippines)

Envisioning a Global Green New Deal through the history of an ever-changing landscape. Communication and misunderstanding with human displacement.

Molong by Damon Chua(US/Singapore)

Connection to the land and the spiritual tie that beats the scientific statistics. Indigenous peoples make up about 6% of the world population but inhabit more than a quarter of our planet’s land area. Harnessing their knowledge and philosophies on sustainability is vital to the future of biodiversity and humankind.

Mizhakwad (The Sky Is Clear) by Dylan Thomas Elwood (US)

Portraying of deep-seated anxiety for climate change. An urgency to embrace our connection with the land.

Learn more about our guest panellists for our November edition:

Ian Garrett (Canada) is a designer, producer, educator, and researcher in the field of sustainability in arts and culture. He is Associate Professor of Ecological Design for Performance at York University. He is the director of the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts and Producer for Toasterlab, a mixed reality performance collective. He maintains a design practice focused on ecology, accessible technologies and scenography

Bronwyn Pringle (Australia) is a Lighting Designer and Theatre Maker who has worked in a plethora of performance spaces including, a London Nightclub, a warehouse in Buenos Aires, the Federation Square air-conditioning ducts and a wool-shed. Bronwyn has received multiple Green Room Awards including the 2020 Award for Technical Achievement and holds a Masters in Design for Performance from the University of Melbourne.

Tony Brumpton (Australia) is an Australian based artist and academic working in the field of Aural Scenography. He likes the sound of birds more than planes.

BASICS – 14th International Design Contest Trieste Contemporanea

The competition deadline is midnight (italian time) of the 12th December 2021. 
The entry is free. 

Designers from 24 Central Eastern European countries are called to propose and design a basic object fit for serviceable use, iconic of the process of change underway. Contestants are asked to conceive an original and innovative item of contemporary design taking into account sustainable development objectives, while reflecting on new meanings and purposes, which also objects and tools take when addressing sustainable goals or facing contingencies (e.g. as it occurs during an unprecedented outbreak).

The contest is promoted by the Trieste Contemporanea Committee and is under the auspices of the C.E.I. (Central European Initiative). 

The rules, the provided prizes, the registration form and the previous editions’ archive from 1995 are available on the website www.triestecontemporanea.it

For further information please contact:
Trieste Contemporanea Committee
e-mail info@triestecontemporanea.com
telephone +39 040 639187

Statement from Culture Declares Emergency on COP26

We are reproducing the Statement issued 7th October 2021 by Culture Declares in full. ecoartscotland fully supports this statement. We call on arts institutions, particularly the Boards and senior managements, to fully engage with the Culture Declares ‘call to action’. 


October 7, 2021

Statement from Culture Declares Emergency on COP26  

KEY MESSAGES

  • We are a growing movement of individuals and organisations in the Culture sector who have declared a climate and ecological emergency. 
  • COP26 is based on the Paris Agreement, which offers an inadequate trajectory to stabilise the climate. Most nations, including our host nation, are not even on course to keep to the Paris Agreement path. 
  • The worsening Earth crisis, both ecological damage and climate impacts, is shocking scientists and causing suffering, particularly for Most Affected Peoples and Areas.
  • In light of these failures in the face of the worsening Earth crisis, we make two urgent calls to politicians and policy-makers, and to the Culture sector.
  • We draw attention to the role of Culture: we invite politicians/policy-makers to collaborate with the Cultural sector to stimulate imagination, to generate ideas for innovation and to engage with communities. 
  • We invite Culture sector workers to join us in declaring emergency, and to make work and action plans that reach beyond COP26 to stir radical imagination and systemic change. 

OUR STATEMENT

We are a movement of arts and culture sector workers and organisations, mostly based in the UK, who have come together to declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency. This is a statement about COP26 from those active in the working groups of Culture Declares. 

We are in a time when six of nine planetary boundaries have been breached, and most of the control variables for the boundaries are moving away from the safe operating space. We have declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency, so we are taking and calling for action across all interconnected environmental issues, including biosphere degradation. Our attention this Autumn is on two international initiatives: COP15 on Biodiversity and COP26.

While the Biodiversity summit is vital, Climate Change is the most serious boundary because of its impacts across the whole Earth system and humanity. The intensity and scale of the extreme heat in America and floods in Europe have shocked climate scientists, who did not expect records to be broken this much, over such a wide area or this soon. Tipping points are being reached. For example, the Amazon rainforest now emits more CO2 than it absorbs. 

COP26, hosted by the UK in November 2021, aims to continue holding nations to account to their Paris Agreement promises, but most nations’ plans are inadequate to stabilise the temperature increase between 1.5C and 2C. The target of 2C has been wrongly seen by some as an upper safe limit and it now appears that 1.5C is not safe either, based on the intersecting impacts unfolding now at 1.2C. 

The Paris Agreement was based on the IPCC 5th Assessment which had been watered down due to pressure from high emitting nations. The actions from the Agreement are in no way adequate to mitigate or adapt to the emerging climate catastrophe in ways that will bring justice for Most Affected People and Areas. The latest evidence suggests that the Paris targets will be insufficient to prevent a Hothouse Earth pathway as impacts are ‘baked in’ from historic emissions and the most likely trajectories of mitigation. The leaked IPCC 6th Assessment report from Working Group II due in early 2022 predicts a ferocious century of climate impacts, particularly in poor countries. 

COP26 aims to hold nations to the ‘ratchet mechanism’, increasing their contributions to reduce emissions. However, ambitions to increase action will be harmed by the example of the host, the UK Government, which is not even meeting its existing promises. Also, the UK Government has cut foreign aid by £4 billion, leaving people to starve who are most affected by climate impacts and conflict in places such as Yemen, Syria, South Sudan and Congo. 

In light of these failures in the face of the worsening Earth crisis, we make the following urgent calls: 

To politicians and policy-makers:

  • We call for sustained and ramped up action to tackle the Climate and Ecological Emergency across nations, regions and sectors. This action must be greater than any plans set for COP26 and pledges based on the Paris Agreement. 
  • The Emergency, which includes the risk of pandemics like COVID-19, should be at the heart of all your thinking, at every level. This requires injections of imagination about how harmful systems and embedded inequalities can change for the better. 
  • We invite you to collaborate with the Cultural sector to stimulate this imagination, to generate ideas for innovation and to engage with communities. 

To people working in the Cultural sector*: 

  • We invite you to join us in declaring emergency if you haven’t already, and to pursue pathways that tell the truth, take action in your practice and communities, and seek global justice and decolonisation. 
  • We invite you to go beyond creating events or art to be seen and heard due to the spotlight of COP26, instead forging your own spotlights that illuminate the systemic issues that matter to you and your communities, and to make plans to keep these issues shining into the future as challenges unfold. 
  • Consider your role beyond COP26 to help people cope with grief after its inevitable failure. 

*We interpret the Cultural sector extremely broadly, to include arts, design, heritage, and personal & community creativity. 

NOTES

About Culture Declares Emergency 

We are a growing movement of individuals and organisations involved in art and culture. We declare this is a Climate and Ecological Emergency and we pledge to tell truths, take action and seek justice. Launched in April 2019, we were the first sector to form a declarer’s movement, inspired by local governments’ emergency declarations. Based in the UK, but collaborating internationally, we offer community and resources to ensure that sustained action follows a declaration. 

Please contact us on culturedeclares@gmail.com to discuss this statement, or other aspects of our work. 

Find out how to declare and get involved in the community https://www.culturedeclares.org/ 

Some creative initiatives by declarers and friends of our movement that you can get involved with include:

  • Paint the Land: In the months leading up to COP26, Writers Rebel’s Paint the Land project is teaming a handful of high-profile writers with well-loved visual artists to create landscape graffitos with a powerful ecological message. This will take the form of striking words “painted” on natural outdoor canvases. https://www.ackroydandharvey.com/ackroyd-harvey-and-ben-okri/  
  • Letters to the Earth: In collaboration with The Climate Coalition and Listening to the Land (a 500 mile pilgrimage to Glasgow), Letters to the Earth is hosting creative workshops as part of a series of nationwide community interventions to collect people’s fears and hopes for the future, in the run up to COP26. https://www.letterstotheearth.com/ 
  • Culture Takes Action: We are amplifying the actions that declarers are taking, using #CultureTakesAction and, in the run of to COP26, also #CultureCOP26. If you’d like your action or project to be shared on social media, or perhaps at one of our online events, please complete this form: https://forms.gle/CNJZ4DUgqBrPNZLQ6 


See more actions & artworks for COP26 by declarers here.

ecoartscotland is a resource focused on art and ecology for artists, curators, critics, commissioners as well as scientists and policy makers. It includes ecoartscotland papers, a mix of discussions of works by artists and critical theoretical texts, and serves as a curatorial platform.

It has been established by Chris Fremantle, producer and research associate with On The Edge Research, Gray’s School of Art, The Robert Gordon University. Fremantle is a member of a number of international networks of artists, curators and others focused on art and ecology.

Go to EcoArtScotland

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wAteR-climaTe arts festival | 3 – 10 Nov 2021

After two years of Covid uncertainty and estrangement across the globe, I am delighted to say that Cape Farewell is – very thankfully – in robust health. During the pandemic we busied ourselves developing new climate focused art and performance work, and we also built and launched our new website, designed by Bullet Creative. Easy to navigate, filled with current news and 20 years of extraordinary research and creative work, communicating on a human scale the urgency of the global climate crises.

Being able to gather together to experience art is more valuable and life affirming than ever. Cape Farewell has joined forces with Lighthouse, Poole’s brilliant centre for the arts and, timed to coincide with COP26, we are launching the wAteR-climaTe arts festival.

The centrepiece of the festival is the compelling new RiverRun exhibition (open until 4 December) – the culmination of two years of artists’ work interrogating the River Frome in Dorset, visioning how its salmon are stressed, what threatens this precious chalk river, how farm/food production has to be super mindful, and the impact of climate change.

The festival programme continues with a climate / culture debate, a series of internationally acclaimed climate-focused film screenings (including Q&As with directors), and live performances. These include a workshop and showcase for local writers, and the brilliant new show from writers in residence, SIRENS. Lucy English from Lyra Bristol Poetry Festival wrote: “I haven’t seen a performance like this for many, many years and I am excited that SIRENS are bringing back complex spoken word experiences to audiences.” 

Booking has opened, and I will be at every event so hopefully see you there or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.

There is great expectation that COP26 in Glasgow will deliver – it must do. But rest assured, away from the copious amounts of hot air, Cape Farewell continues to bring creativity to the climate challenge, all staged in partnership with Lighthouse on the south coast of the UK.

Please consider supporting our work

One salient image, poem, film or song can speak louder than volumes of scientific data. 

Every gift, however large or small, makes a big difference. Help Cape Farewell create a better future for people and planet – we are all in this together.Your donation will help collectively kick the fossil fuel habit, creating the possibility of a vibrant, just and an ecologically stable society.

Thank you.

David Buckland, Founder & Director, Cape Farewell

“Climate change is no longer the preserve of the Arctic or Amazon: it is here in our own communities, presenting a cultural challenge for which we are all the solution as well as the problem.”  David Buckland

The Chicago Green Theatre Alliance: E-Waste & Textile Drive

Chicago Theatre and Arts Community, the time has finally arrived! 

The 6th Annual CGTA E-Waste & Textile Drive begins THIS FRIDAY! Are you ready for fun, free costumes, fabulous friends, and freeing your household/theatre of clothing and e-waste?

October 22, 23 & 24 – 12pm-4pm (Friday through Sunday)

Hosted at Chicago Children’s Theatre – 100 S. Racine Ave.

All staff and patrons will be required to wear a mask during the event.

The textile/costume event will take place inside the theatre space. The e-waste collection will be outside in the parking lot.

The Chicago Green Theatre Alliance is excited to host three days of dropping and swapping! 

Textiles Accepted: Clothing, Costumes, Shoes, Hats, Accessories, Fabric Scraps and Household Textiles (towels, sheets, blankets, etc)

E-Waste Accepted: Electronics of all shapes and sizes, working or not. If it plugs in OR is battery operated we’ll take it, and maybe turn it into a prop. If it works – PLEASE LABEL it as such! (NOTE: CRT Monitors and CRT TVs NOT accepted)

Please help spread the word! 

  • Forward this email!
  • Download a sharable/printable flyer here
  • Share the CGTA Drive Facebook event. Have you RSVPed yet? Put the dates in your calendar!
  • Follow the CGTA on Instagram. Share the event from there! @ChiGreenTheatre
  • Remind your friends and colleagues that Halloween is around the corner and you know just the place to get awesome, free, and sustainable costumes.

We are also asking for volunteers in the days of and shortly after the drive. If you are interested in first dibs on the best items (and would like to be generally helpful) sign up for a volunteer slot in this form: CGTA Textile & E-Waste Drive Volunteer Sign Up. Mostly three hour shifts!

Thanks to our partners and sponsors: The League of Chicago Theatres, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Conscious Costumes, FUNDrive, and Garvey’s Office Products.

Please email chigreentheatre@gmail.com with any questions and someone from the CGTA will get back to you.



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The Green Sessions – Prepare for Action! September 21 & 22

Canada’s performing arts community is invited to a FREE online gathering of some of Canada’s most knowledgeable and inspiring climate leaders, activists and educators. We believe that artists have an essential part to play in the climate battle. We know that our role as storytellers and communicators can be instrumental in delivering a societal shift.

Following on from the wonderful energy generated at June’s Green Sessions: Day of Learning, we are delighted to bring you the training sessions. We have been overwhelmed by the extraordinary speakers who have stepped forward to take part. This Training phase of the Green Sessions will be split over two afternoons, on September 21 and 22, 2021.

As pressure mounts towards a general election and COP 26, there has never been such an important moment to recognize that Art is Activism! Or at least it can be, if we choose to make it so.

Join us to be inspired by the thinkers who are mapping out a more climate conscious world, and then be ready to get to work as we understand, together, how to hone our policy demands, shape our message, build our collective strength and deliver extraordinary, uplifting, future-shaping art in both the public and virtual space.

Speakers joining for The Green Sessions include Kate Raworth and Yannick Beaudoin on September 21 and Naomi Klein on September 22. More exciting speakers to come!

The climate emergency is clearly a cultural challenge.  It’s about who we are and how we live. Never have we needed more the persuasive vision of artists to inspire us towards a greener, greater world. So join us at The Green Sessions as we shoulder our responsibilities, and get creative about how we might change the world.

We’ve planted the seeds and we hope you can join us for an inspiring day where we work the soil of this movement. And join us for the Day of Action when we harvest our collective work.

MORE INFO AND TICKETS HERE


Proudly supported by

The Arctic Cycle: Dispatch to the Future

Join us in New York City for Dispatch to the Future, the official kick off of Climate Change Theatre Action 2021, a three-month festival of participatory theatre and action around climate taking place in more than 30 countries around the world.

Sunday, September 19, 2021 – Rain or Shine!
New York City’s Central Park @ West 103rd Street
Every half hour from 12:00-4:00 pm
$15 tickets

Featuring original short plays by Angella Emurwon (Uganda), Jessica Huang (US), Aleya Kassam (Kenya), and Marcus Youssef with Seth Klein (Canada), with additional text by Chantal Bilodeau, Dispatch to the Future takes you on a 75-minute interactive guided walk through a series of live performances tucked away in green oases. In turn poetic, political, and whimsical, this event aims to be a joyful and family-friendly experience. You will also be invited to participate in the Climate Ribbon arts ritual, launched at the Climate March in NYC in 2014.

The walk and the plays are directed by Lanxing Fu, Megan Paradis Hanley, Rad Pereira, and Jeremy Pickard. Produced by Sami Pyne.

GET YOUR TICKET NOW

Our entire cast and crew is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Groups will be limited to 15 people. Masks are optional for fully vaccinated individuals based on personal comfort levels, but we ask that you wear one if you are not vaccinated. We will follow CDC guidelines as they continue to evolve.

Calling all Stage Designers: Climate Change Theatre Action EcoDesign Charrette

The Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA) and Triga Creative (Triga) invites you to our second Eco-Design Charrette taking place between September 19th and December 18th, 2021.  This year we will be hosting our events online, as part of the Climate Change Theatre Action Festival (Climate Change Theatre Action). The Eco-Design Charrette aims to fuel each participant with the knowledge and inspiration needed to design with an ecological consciousness. Through rapid design seeding and idea exchange we will expand how we imagine scenography and its power to change our world. 

This online Eco-Design Charrette is centred on the creation of concepts for each of the fifty Climate Change Theatre Action Plays (Playwrights). Over the span of the Charrette each participating designer will create a seed concept for at least one of the short plays. Our intention is not to ask designers for fully fleshed out designs, but to begin a design concept with ecological thinking at the centre of the creative process. In order to support this work and create a context for the cross pollination of ideas, Triga Creative will host a series of short play readings, design conversations and eco-scenography workshops.

The Eco-Design Charrette period will be an opportunity to develop your eco-scenographic practice alongside other designers and generate concepts for publication and exhibition with an international reach. All designs generated during the Eco-Design Charrette will be published in a two-part volume by the Centre for Sustainable Practices in the Arts (Books). The designs will also be exhibited at World Stage Design in Calgary in 2022 (WSD2022 Exhibition). The charrette will culminate the global participatory CCTA festival with an online closing celebration during which we will share the work created with our international community.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

Send Triga Creative a statement of interest in the Eco-Design Charrette to hello@trigacreative.com with the subject line “Charrette Application” before midnight on September 6th, 2021. Please include an overview of your previous design experience, your interest in eco-scenography, and your availability to participate in up to two sessions of programming per week between September 19th and December 18th, 2021.

We will be creating the schedule with consideration of everyone’s availability and with the intention of making our programming as accessible as possible across all time zones. Please be specific about which time zone your availability is relative to. Note that availability for all of the programming is not required for participation.

We will review all of the submitted letters and be in touch with everyone before September 19th, 2021. If you have any questions please write to Alexandra Lord, Shannon Lea Doyle and Michelle Tracey at hello@trigacreative.com. We would be happy to hear from you!

Featured Image: Seed Concept for Nibi (Water) Protectors By Corey Payette, Designed by Kim Sue Bartnik for the 2019 CCTA EcoDesign Charrette